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Chess History

We gathered this information from different sources for you to understand more about the history of chess. If you have any information to contribute concerning chess history, or find something missing or in error, please contact and inform us at pakchess@gmail.com  or pakshutranj@gmail.com

Many countries claim to have invented chess in some incipient form. The most commonly held view is that the predecessor of chess originated in the Sub-Continent of India currently known as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh in Pakistan it is also spell Shutranj.


since the Arabic, Persian, Greek, Portuguese and Spanish words for chess are all derived from the ancient Indian game Chaturanga. In addition, in the past only India had three animals — horse, camel and elephant — in its cavalry that represent knight, bishop and rook in chess. The present version of chess stemmed from a version of Chaturanga that was played in India around the 6th century. The first reference in the literature of chess history, to a predecessor of chess called Chatrang is from Persia about 600 CE, where the name became Shatranj. The earliest documented chess pieces date to the 7th century. By about 800 the game reached China, and was modified as Xiangqi. Chaturanga also spread to Japan, where it is called shogi. Shatranj spread throughout the Muslim world after the Islamic conquest of Persia, although the names of the pieces largely retained their Persian forms. The name shatranj continued in Spanish as ajedrez and in Greek as zatrikion, but in most of Europe it was replaced by versions of the Persian word shāh ("king"). Shatranj reached Western Europe and Russia by at least three routes, the earliest being in the 9th century. By the year 1000 the game spread through Europe. It was introduced into the Iberian Peninsula by the Moors in the 10th century, and described in a famous 13th century manuscript covering shatranj, backgammon, and dice named the Libro de los juegos.

Another theory of chess history, championed by David H. Li, contends that chess arose from the game Xiangqi, or at least a predecessor thereof, existing in China since the 2nd century BC.

Origins of the modern game (1450—1850)

The pieces in shatranj — the predecessor of the European chess — had limited movement; elephants or aufins (the predecessors of modern bishops) could only move by jumping exactly two spaces diagonally (it could jump over pieces), the counselor or fers (the predecessor of the modern queen) could move only one space diagonally, pawns could not move two spaces on their first move, and there was no castling. Pawns could only promote to counselor, which was the weakest piece (other than the pawn), due to its limited move. In addition to checkmate, a player could win by capturing all of the opponent's pieces (except the king) and a stalemate was a win for the player administering it.

Around 1200, in the history of chess, rules started to be modified in southern Europe, and around 1475, several major changes in the rules made the game essentially the same as modern chess. These modern rules for the basic moves had been adopted in Italy (or in Spain according to other sources): pawns gained the option of moving two squares on their first move and the en passant capture therewith, and bishops and queens acquired their modern moves. This made the queen the most powerful piece; consequently modern chess was referred to as "Queen's Chess" or "Mad Queen Chess". The history of chess was changing. The new rules quickly spread through western Europe. The current rules were introduced about 1475, except for rules about stalemate, which varied from place to place and were finalized in the early 19th century.



M. Wasif Nisar

FIDE International Arbitrator





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